What does it take to be a software developer at one of the largest digital agencies in Vancouver? Charles Shin got to find out first hand during his co-op at OpenRoad Communications. Over the last seven months, Charles worked with a team of talented developers on a variety of projects. As he returns to school to finish the last semester of his Computing Science degree at Simon Fraser University, here is what he had to say about his internship at OpenRoad.
What was your co-op term like at OpenRoad?
My co-op at OpenRoad was a great experience. The developers I worked with have years (and some even decades) of experience and were really great in passing down their knowledge. I have done a few other co-ops but what made this work term stand out for me was the opportunity to be involved in real client-based projects. OpenRoad has some big name clients, so to work on websites for companies that are widely known was really exciting. Compared to previous co-op terms, the projects were larger in terms of people involved, size of codebase, complexity, and number of users using the end product. So I was exposed to a variety of problems that helped me gain a lot of experience.
What did you learn?
Something really valuable I learned throughout my co-op was the process of translating design into code. Based on loose guidelines I was able to create a step-by-step process that converts the designer’s wireframe onto our client’s website. I had the opportunity to practice this process for a number of different projects throughout the last seven months. This was valuable to learn because while future projects will differ in nature, I will be able to bring this process with me and use it render any design onto a software interface.
Any words of advice to other co-op students considering working at OpenRoad?
Any student looking to get into the tech industry should do their co-op at OpenRoad. Working on client based projects is a lot different than completing school assignments. The quality of work that needs to be done for clients is much higher. Making sure my work met those high standards really helped improve my development skills. The team is also very supportive and gives you a degree of autonomy that allows you to learn as much as possible. I am excited to go back to school, finish my degree and return to OpenRoad in January where I can continue working for this great company.